West Ham have a chance of finishing above Manchester United for the first time in a generation this year. What is the main reason for this?
Emily Pulham: Mainly because Manchester United’s form has been terrible this year. It says a lot that their form is actually improving because of injuries to all their first team players. In hindsight, they should have kept Moyes. There’s something about falling out of a frying pan and into a fire here. Also West Ham are outstanding this year.
Stuart Plant: Culmination of Bilic’s leadership and winning mentality. In addition, the David’s fine investment in terms of transfers, and the knock on effect that has both for competition for places and for having better players upping the performances of those around them like Mark Noble with Dimitri Payet, and James Collins with Angelo Ogbonna.
Danny Rust: The main reason is that we not only have one star, but we have a superb squad and strength in depth for the first time in some years. Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini and Cheikhou Kouyate are all superb and can create chances, while the full backs are dangerous going forward too. In the past, we would have crumbled when we have had our injury problems but because of the squad we have, we can bring someone into the side who doesn’t make us any worse. Meanwhile, Manchester United have been woeful at times and I fancy us to finish the season above van Gaal’s side.
Marcus Johns: I think it all comes down to belief. Under Fergusson, United went out with the belief they could beat anyone and they usually did. This season, they don’t have that under LVG while Bilic seems to have instilled it into our players, which was evident against Everton. We have that belief now.
There seems to be a growing campaign for England to select Mark Noble. Would you take him to the Euros if you were Roy Hodgson?
EP: If I were Roy Hodgson I’d try really hard to buy my soul back from whoever I sold it to. Mark Noble’s probably the only person I’d take to the Euros right now – besides Michail Antonio, of course. I’ll buy them their official M&S suits myself if I have to.
SP: He’s the best English midfielder in terms of chances created, tackles won, successful passes, and pass completion this season. If I were Roy, I’d pick Jack Wilshere as he plays for Arsenal. If I were a reputable England manager mind, I’d pick Noble all day long.
DR: Mark Noble has been fantastic this season and he should have won his first England cap years ago. Roy Hodgson seems to be reluctant to take him despite Noble being one of the most consistent English midfielders over the last couple of years. Hodgson has said that he will take Jack Wilshere this summer as long as he is fit. But he is yet to play this season so why should he get in ahead of Noble? Plus we always seem to go out of major tournaments on penalties and Noble can certainly take a good penalty. He should be going to France.
MJ: If I were him, then yes. I would want a Mark Noble in my team every time, especially when you consider how well he has been doing. But much like Cresswell and Antonio, players playing for more attractive clubs will be picked, no matter what form they’re in. From a West Ham Fans perspective, I’m happy that they’ll all get the rest ahead of next year!
The atmosphere during West Ham’s 1-0 win over Tottenham was pretty special. What was the best atmosphere you ever experienced at Upton Park?
EP: The atmosphere has been outstanding every time we’ve beaten Spurs, but for me, one of my all time greatest feelings in that ground was the atmosphere when Adrian took his gloves off to smash in that penalty and finally advance us past Everton in the FA Cup. It was the first time I ever saw a legend be born in front of my eyes. It was an absolutely magical thing to experience.
SP: My first game in 1998, a 0-0 draw at home to Derby, with John Hartson being sent off in the first half. Everything is that much more magical and alluring when you’re seven, even when your favourite player gets sent off! The last game at Upton Park will be something else though.
DR: The one that immediately springs to mind to me is the extra time win over Liverpool a few weeks ago. I don’t think I’ve ever heard or seen Upton Park celebrate a goal like when Angelo Ogbonna scored the winner.
MJ: That game would be up there — as would the FC Cup replay against Liverpool this year. It may be short term memory issues, but the feel good factor around this season and the need to give the Boleyn a fitting send off, seems to have lifted the atmosphere to a notch it’s not been at for many years.
West Ham still have to play Arsenal and Leicester City. Who will win the Premier League title this season?
EP: Hopefully Leicester City. What a difference it would make to the world of football if a team that wasn’t flooded with money won the league based on skill, excellent management and hard work. It would open up the league for any team to believe they could do it if they are determined enough. If they don’t do it, it’ll be Spurs. I’m not happy about it either, but they have a good side this year and are genuine contenders if they don’t bottle it
SP: I can’t see anyone other than Leicester or Tottenham winning it. Most fans would rather Leicester win it as they have been thoroughly enjoyable all season, plus it would be good for the League. I expect City to finish very strong though.
DR: I hope Leicester City go on and win the title, and I honestly think they will. I kept expecting the Foxes to drop off but they haven’t so far. They have the easiest run in of the top four and do not have any other cup competitions to concentrate on.
MJ: I know people have been writing Leicester off for ages, but I do think the pressure will get to them and they’ll choke, and Arsenal will come through and take the title.